Thursday, March 28, 2013

A dark day is dawning

Many people would have you think the end of the world is right around the corner, and I can’t say I blame them: Spring is taking too long to get here. As a big fan of post-apocalyptic literature myself, it can sometimes be hard for an author to excite me to the point of gushing. Not this novel.

The aptly described “ecological horror” that is Joseph D’Lacey’s Black Feathers shows us what such a future might look like. Being that it’s only the first volume, there’s more to come.

Gordon Black is born in a snowstorm in mid-October, oddly enough, but it’s the birds and the black feathers that really throw the creep-factor up a notch or three. At this point, Earth is already in the throes of ecological calamity. In the years that follow, Gordon Black and family are hoarding and stockpiling ahead of the imminent crisis.

In the midst of society’s downfall, there comes an uprising of a new world order bent on the subjugation of the Earth and her people. The Ward act as police, military and corporations. They’re on the lookout for a curious being known as The Crowman, one who is said to bring ultimate destruction upon the Earth.

Skewed in every couple of chapters or so is the story of a girl named Megan. Megan is about the age that Gordon was when the Earth was in major upheaval, yet her tale is told plenty of time in the future. The land seems to be somewhat healed at this point, though mystery abounds as to who Megan is and to what her future is. It may just depend on the past. She gets to know a man named Mr. Keeper, her journey as a hero of sorts begins.

I can’t say enough about how chillingly haunting this book was. The end of the world has never been more heartfelt and confusing for our characters. Each step along their respective journeys pulls them farther apart from who they are, but like any good tale, molds them into the people they are to become. 

Black Feathers: The Black Dawn volume 1 by Joseph D’Lacey from Angry Robot Books landed in stores March 26.

This review originally appeared in The Lock Haven Express on 03/28/13.

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